On a day when his team honored 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott, Darrell Wallace Jr. delivered the ultimate tribute.
Wallace bounced back from a late-race incident to win the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, his second straight victory in the race. When he won at the half-mile oval a year ago he became the first African American to win a NASCAR touring series race since Scott in 1963.
“This is a touch sweeter (than my first win), having the No. 34 tribute truck,” said Wallace. “I couldn’t ask for a better day … having the Wendell Scott family here, my family, my girlfriend. It’s a big moment.
“Today was special for us. The whole weekend is special for us.”
Wallace’s Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota was adorned with a throwback paint scheme that replicated Scott’s car from the 1963 victory. Wallace normally runs the No. 54, but for this race he switched to No. 34, the number Scott carried his entire career.
It was Wallace’s third win of the season and his 12th top 10 of the year.
The 11th and final caution of the day came out when Johnny Sauter, German Quiroga and Wendell Chavous got together entering the third turn and Quiroga spun out. Wallace was right in the middle of the spin, but managed to avoid contact. He jumped out to a quick lead on the restart and eased away to a .495 second victory.
“That was exciting … we always try to add excitement to the races that we’re in,” Wallace said of the late action. “That was cool. I like that we came out on top on that.”
Timothy Peters finished second, followed by points leader Matt Crafton, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.
Peters shoved his way past Sauter exiting the fourth turn with three laps to go to take over the second spot, which resulted in some pit-road fireworks between the two after the race.
“It’s Martinsville, its short-track racing,” said Peters, a former Martinsville winner. “He (Sauter) doesn’t cut anyone any breaks. He races hard and I can appreciate that. But if you dish it, you had better be willing to take it. Did I mean to hit him? Yes. Did I mean to hit him that hard? Maybe not that hard.”
Good seats are available for Sunday’s Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville. Ticket prices start at just $45. Martinsville Speedway’s ticket office opens at 7 a.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or online online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.